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The Blue Gardenia (1953)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 2,746 users  
Reviews: 51 user | 14 critic

A telephone operator ends up drunk and at the mercy of a cad in his apartment. The next morning she wakes up with a hangover and the terrible fear she may be a murderess.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Norah Larkin
...
Casey Mayo
...
Crystal Carpenter
...
Harry Prebble
Jeff Donnell ...
Sally Ellis
...
Al
...
Ruth Storey ...
Rose Miller
Ray Walker ...
Homer
...
Himself
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Storyline

In Los Angeles, on the day of her birthday, the telephone operator Norah Larkin decides to celebrate dining alone at home, with the picture of his beloved fiancé, a soldier overseas, and reading his last letter for her. In the letter he tells that he met a Japanese nurse and he wanted to get married with her. Norah, completely upset, accepts to blind date the Don Juan and photographer of calendar girls Harry Prebble. They go to the Blue Gardenia Club, and Norah drinks six strong cocktails Polynesian Pearl Divers and gets completely drunk. Harry takes her to his apartment and tries to force Norah to have sex, and she uses a poker to hit Harry on the head. On the next morning, she wakes-up in her apartment with her two roommates, but she can not remember what happened. When she reads the newspaper, she finds that Harry is dead and the police has her handkerchief, her high heels and her blue gardenia and is chasing the woman that killed the famous wolf Harry. When she reads in the ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 March 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La femme au gardénia  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While the record album of the "Tristan and Isolde" music is never shown close enough to the camera for the movie audience to see it, it either is, or has been created to resemble, a typical 78-RPM album set of the 1940's of an RCA Victor recording featuring Arturo Toscanini conducting the NBC Symphony Orchestra. The cover art greatly resembles that of a 78-RPM album pressing featuring Toscanini conducting that orchestra. Toscanini was considered the greatest conductor of that era. See more »

Goofs

At the end of Nora's first visit with Mayo at Bill's Cafe, when they are leaving, he is held up by some friends just coming in. She hustles out and gets into a cab of early '50s Chrysler Corporation manufacture (looks like a '53 DeSoto). When Mayo frees himself from his friends and rushes outside, he sees what is apparently meant to be her cab rounding a corner at the end of the block. This time it is a Chrysler product of the late '40s ('47 Desoto, one would guess). DeSotos were very popular as cabs in those days because they were as large as Chryslers, but at the next lower price range. See more »

Quotes

Casey Mayo: How about you slip into something more comfortable, like a few drinks and some chinese food.
See more »

Soundtracks

Prelude and Liebestod
(uncredited)
from "Tristan and Isolde"
Music by Richard Wagner
Played over the airport loudspeaker, and on the phonograph
See more »

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User Reviews

Nostalgic Melodrama
31 December 2005 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

Norah, a young, attractive woman (played by Anne Baxter), gets a letter from her overseas boyfriend, informing her that he has found a new love. At just the moment she realizes she has been rejected, the phone rings. It's a dinner invitation from a womanizer who thinks he is talking to one of Norah's two female roommates. Depressed and vulnerable, Norah impulsively accepts the invitation, on her own behalf. This is the setup for "The Blue Gardenia", set in the early 50s, a film with a good beginning and some really high-powered Hollywood talent.

The screenplay, with its contrived plot, and director Fritz Lang's ambivalent direction render a flawed production. The film's tone, expressed both in the B&W cinematography and in the music, tends to seesaw back and forth between romance and mystery. But, the film can still be enjoyable to viewers looking for a murder-mystery/romance combo that is not overly complex. The easy to follow plot moves along unencumbered by the confusion wrought by multi-layered plot gimmicks so common in today's films.

The film's ending is one for the books. In all the mystery films I have watched, I don't recall a murder investigation being wrapped up so easily as this one. It's way too neat and too tidy to be credible. The film's 88-minute run time leaves a lot of room for additional material. Expansion of the film's final Act could have provided a more realistic and satisfying ending.

I really liked seeing Raymond Burr and Ann Sothern. The film also sports some clever dialogue. With its interesting premise, "The Blue Gardenia", despite a flawed script, will likely appeal to viewers looking for a melodramatic film with a nostalgic setting, wherein the plot is straightforward. Viewers looking for a topnotch script and/or a complex storyline with lots of plot twists and subtlety will need to look elsewhere.


29 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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